LOCAL FEATURE

Mariners Kuzminski records 100th career win

NANAIMO — The VIU Mariners men's basketball team continues to roll under the guidance of head coach Matt Kuzminski.

VIU is 12-0 after sweeping Columbia Bible College over the weekend.

The Mariners are ranked second in the CCAA as their PACWEST season is going into the home stretch.

On Friday when VIU beat CBC 95-73 it wasn't just win number 11 on the season - it was the 100th career coaching victory for Kuzminski.

He didn't know about the milestone until that night, even though the university made sure his family was aware of what was coming.

Kuzminski says he was honoured to achieve the milestone and receive the game ball after the victory.

VIU basketball coach Matt Kuzminski celebrates his 100th career victory with Director of High Performance Sport Stephanie White on Friday. Kuzminski received the game ball after the Mariners 95-73 win over Columbia Bible College. (Photo: Northfield Photography)

"It's not something that I would have considered and it would have passed by without me noticing. But when I do stop and reflect back on it I'm very grateful for it. And I'm grateful especially that I got to do it with a great group of guys and in particular the other coaches," said Kuzminski.

Going back to the 2012-13 season Kuzminski's record is 101-13.

There have been a lot of special moments for the Mariners basketball program in that time, but Kuzminski referenced winning the 2013 national championship in his first year as the biggest on court memory.  

Other than some nerves and excitement the veteran coach couldn't recall any of the details of his first game on the bench, that from a season where the Mariners finished 16-5.

The current VIU squad has championship potential according to Kuzminski.

He says the ingredients are all there for the Mariners to be an elite defensive team.

Kuzminski notes that having a game changer like Usama Zaid on the court is also going to put VIU in the conversation for provincial and national titles.

"We've had a ton of great players at VIU," Kuzminski said. "The more I coach him and watch him - I think he has to be the best guy or 1A if he's not number one by himself. And he continues to improve as a player, a person, and as a teammate."

This weekend the Mariners will visit Douglas College on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

They'll be looking to get their coach up to 103 career wins by the time the weekend is over.